DAY 1: Amsterdam (Embark)
Arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and be transferred to your ship. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.
DAY 2: Amsterdam, Zaandam
Enjoy the luxury of a full day in the “Venice of the North,” starting with a private “Morning with the Masters” tour of the Amsterdam Hermitage. Afterwards, visit significant Jewish Heritage sites or explore the city on foot or by bike. At your private “Morning with the Masters” tour of the Amsterdam Hermitage, you’ll have the museum’s extraordinary collection of Dutch Masters all to yourself, as an art historian shows you Portrait Gallery highlights. Afterwards, choose from a trio of enticing excursions: Admire the city’s narrow, gabled homes lining the canals on a “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour; explore the hip and trendy Jordaan district on two wheels, the quintessential way to experience this bike-obsessed city; or opt for our Jewish Heritage tour, with stops at the Portuguese Synagogue and Jewish Museum.
Exclusive “Morning with the Masters” at the Hermitage Museum
“Do as the Locals Do” Amsterdam walking explorer
Choice of Jewish Heritage visit to Portuguese Synagogue and Jewish Museum or “Let’s Go” Discover Amsterdam – the lively Jordaan district by bike or Discover Dutch crafts, windmills and museums at Zaanse Schans
DAY 3: Rotterdam
You’ll spend your day exploring Rotterdam’s historic splendor, vibrant culture, varied architectural landscape and maritime heritage. Embark on a stroll around the port city’s most enticing spots, like Market Hall. The impressive residential and office building is adorned with a futuristic, all-glass façade, doubling as an art installation of sorts. While you’re in the heart of the city, you’ll stop along the way to sample mouthwatering Dutch pastries. Venture to the nearby village of Kinderjik and marvel at a group of 19 towering windmills. The World Heritage Site holds the largest concentration of old windmills in The Netherlands and its entire vicinity is a protected village view. Rotterdam is the “Gateway to Europe” and you’ll want to discover why. Upon your arrival in Arnhem that evening, choose to explore the Genealogy Museum of Jewish People.
Dutch Culinary Stroll of Rotterdam’s SuperDutch, supersized Market Hall
Choice of Kinderdijk – 19 windmills to harness the elements or Jewish Genealogy Museum visit
DAY 4: Arnhem
Arnhem, once almost completely destroyed by WWII, has blossomed into a burgeoning Dutch city, with several wonderful museums, charming shop-lined streets and historically significant landmarks. Get a glimpse into Arnhem’s WWII-era past at the Airborne Museum. It’s dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem, where Allied Airborne Forces (paratroopers) attempted to secure bridges in the surrounding areas to prevent further invasion. Learn the history of the infamous battle from enemy, ally and civilian perspective and explore an extensive collection of equipment and weaponry. Opt for more active exploration on the Arnhem Airborne Cycle route. Bike past major battle landmarks such as John Frost Bridge, Doorwerth Castle and the Airborne Cemetery as you travel along the river banks.
Arnhem Airborne Museum WWII
Choice of Arnhem Airborne Cycle Route
DAY 5: Cologne
You simply cannot visit Cologne without paying homage to its most notorious site, the Gothic masterpiece that serves as the city’s cathedral. A local expert will show you favorite haunts around the Old Town and share some of the cathedral’s most intriguing and Magi-cal secrets with you. Afterwards, you have a choice of three enticing excursions highlighting beer, contemporary art or Jewish history. Our first stop today is Cologne’s massive cathedral, a UNESCO-designated Gothic masterpiece with a shrine to the Three Magi that has drawn religious pilgrims for centuries. From there, beer aficionados can visit an Old Town pub for a taste of Kölsch, a brew made only in Cologne. Art lovers can see Europe’s most significant collection of contemporary art at Museum Ludwig. And guests interested in the city’s Jewish past are welcome to explore the centuries-old mikveh and other notable sites in Cologne’s Jewish quarter, once home to Europe’s first Jewish settlement north of the Alps. No matter which excursion you choose, you’ll also have ample free time to explore the city on your own.
Cologne and its Cathedral
Choice of Cologne – Gothic Cathedral and Museum Ludwig or Jewish Heritage: Cologne’s Jewish Quarter
DAY 6: Oberwesel
Bacharach is an ancient village that appears straight out of the pages of a storybook. Enjoy a guided stroll through town and taste some locally grown Rieslings, a specialty of the region. Alternatively, join a “Go Active” hike that will take you past the old town walls and up to a fortified 12th-century castle.
Bacharach: storybook wine village walk & Riesling tasting
Choice of “Let’s Go” romantic Castle Stahleck hike on the old town walls
DAY 7: Frankfurt
Frankfurt is known as the “Mainhattan” of Europe, a financial powerhouse with soaring skyscrapers as well as traditional Old Town architecture. Experience the city with your choice of adventures today—visit Germany’s oldest museum, take a guided “Go Active” bike ride or learn about the Rothschild family’s rags-to-riches saga. Step ashore and walk a short distance to the Old Town for our “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour. This part of the city has charming old homes, stately churches and a lively covered market where you can sample all sorts of local delicacies. Later, you can visit Germany’s oldest museum, the Städel, with 700 years of European art housed under a single roof. If you prefer, opt for a guided “Go Active” bike ride that takes you through the Old Town, along the Main River promenade and down the city’s world-famous “Museum Mile”—which boasts no fewer than 13 acclaimed institutions. For something completely different, you can spend your time in Frankfurt delving into the city’s fascinating Jewish legacy.
Frankfurt “Do as the Locals Do” and world-class Städel Museum
Choice of “Let’s Go” Frankfurt by bike or Jewish Heritage: Frankfurt Jewish Heritage Museum and the legacy of the Rothschilds
DAY 8: Speyer (Worms)
Expect the unexpected in Speyer, where ancient treasures harmoniously co-exist with modern day innovation. Take it all in during a walk with a local expert, or—for something really unexpected—venture into a spooky, candlelit tasting room to sample flavorful elixirs made from wine vinegars. Utterly unique and (surprisingly) delicious! A third option is our Jewish Heritage excursion to Worms, an ancient center of learning and religion. Join a local expert for a guided stroll through the historic small town of Speyer, famous for its vast Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll also have some free time to wander on your own, perhaps to have a coffee at a sidewalk café on the town’s bustling central plaza.
Exclusive Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Choice of Speyer – historic small town and German kings or Exclusive Vinegar Gourmet Cooking Class at the village farm with Chef Matthias or “Let’s Go” biking along the Rhine shores & city walls or Black Forest & Baden Baden
DAY 9: Strasbourg
Strasbourg is invariably described as quaint, a rather overused word that in this case is perfectly apropos. Whether you see it by bicycle, on foot with an insightful local expert or opt to delve into the town’s Jewish past, Strasbourg’s cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. After docking in town, you’ll have a chance to discover Strasbourg’s many charms with a choice of excursions: A guided “Do as the Locals Do” walking tour of the Petit France district, stopping to try traditional Alsatian treats along the way; a “Go Active” bike tour that covers a bit more ground, including the European district; or an in-depth look at the city’s rich Jewish history, which dates back an astonishing 2,000 years. After lunch onboard, spend the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps shopping for handcrafted souvenirs bearing images of white storks—a beloved symbol of the city.
“Do as the Locals Do” Strasbourg walking explorer
Choice of “Let’s go” Strasbourg by bike: Petit France and the European district or Jewish Heritage: Alsace’s Jewish past
DAY 10: Basel
Basel historically has been divided by the Rhine into two sections: Greater Basel, on the south bank, and Lesser Basel, on the north bank—and the Lällekönig has been sticking his long red tongue out at Lesser Basel since 1640. Though the original beaten-copper head with its crown and clockwork mechanism now resides in a museum, a replica still reigns near the Middle Bridge, insulting the grittier side of the city in its time-honored way. It’s on your itinerary today as you explore both sides of this most walkable of cities, crossing between them via a traditional ferry that is powered solely by the Rhine’s current. Ramble with your guide through the historic heart of Basel, stopping to nibble some of the city’s delectable specialties, including its celebrated honey-almond cookies, and getting a glimpse of the remarkable range of shops, which display everything from designer fabrics, antique books, quirky figurines and, of course, timepieces. Every historic square you see will hold a special charm: The spectacular red sandstone 16th-century town hall faces Market Square; Barfüsser Square is named for the deconsecrated church that now houses the city museum; Cathedral Square is dominated by Basel’s 800-year-old red sandstone Münster, where Erasmus is buried.
Basel art & food: old town walk, with local tastings, Cathedral & cloisters, Rhine ferry
Choice of “Let’s Go” Bike & Art: bike along the Wiese River to Foundation Beyeler Museum or Basel: Theodor Herzl and the first Zionist congress
DAY 11: Basel (Disembark)
Disembark the ship and be transferred to Basel airport for your flight home.
Explore Europe’s rich history and Jewish heritage on an incredible discovery of The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. Dive deep into the region’s culture, natural wonders, traditions and historical significance in a one-of-a-kind experience along the Rhine. Delve into the region’s world-renowned museums in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Basel and Arnhem. Along the way, indulge in Central Europe’s delicious cuisine—Dutch cheese and fries, Alsatian choux-croute, Swiss-style sausages, Kölsch beer, unique wine vinegar aperitifs and Germany’s famous white wines.
Not only that, but you’ll discover Central Europe’s fascinating Jewish ties as part of our Jewish Heritage program—the only itinerary of its kind offered on the rivers.
Oh, and did we mention the scenery? Standing on the top deck of your ship, watching the ever-changing landscape turn increasingly dramatic, you’ll understand why people have been raving about the Rhine River Valley for centuries - and there’s definitely no cause to stop.
All meals onboard, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients
Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions
Welcome and Farewell Dinners
Unlimited beverages onboard, including fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, and mineral water
7 days of excursions, including “Choice Is Yours” options, all fully hosted by English-speaking local experts
Guided "Jewish Heritage", “Let's Go,” “Do as the Locals Do,” “Village Day” and “Gentle Walking” programs
State-of-the-art Quietvox portable audio-headset system on all excursions
Use of bicycles and Nordic walking stick
8-night cruise in a riverview stateroom on the elegant River Empress
Lavishly appointed riverview staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options
Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
4 countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland
4 UNESCO World Heritage sites
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise Manager
All transfers on arrival and departure days
All gratuities, both onboard and onshore
Captivating onboard local entertainment